THE MYSTERY OF MARILYN MONROE: THE UNHEARD TAPES on Netflix is a new documentary film about her death. Basically, it’s a different take on a true-crime documentary because we don’t know if there was a crime. Read our full The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes review here!

THE MYSTERY OF MARILYN MONROE: THE UNHEARD TAPES is a new Netflix documentary with a runtime of 101 minutes. It’s a film that focuses mostly on her untimely death and the many questions it raised. However, in order to answer those questions, there was also a need to go back and look at her life and – in particular – her career.

We hear about who she was from people who actually knew her. All via tape-recorded interviews that tend to be of amazing quality. The interviews are from the beginning of the 1980s, so a good twenty years after she passed away (which was in August 1962).

To make the tape-recorded interviews a lot more interesting for this very visual documentary, actors were hired to lipsync. Essentially, you’ll see someone speaking, but they’re merely actors (with a close resemblance) lipsyncing to the voices of people who were interviewed on cassette tapes.

Continue reading our The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes review here!

Get to know the real Marilyn Monroe

I have always been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe despite the fact that she died decades before I was born. Personally, I don’t buy the suicide theory, or – at the very least – I don’t think it happened as it was told. That just means I was even more curious to see this true-crime documentary take on the circumstances of her death.

Also, if you’ve ever been curious about who Marilyn Monroe really was (both before and after she became “Marilyn Monroe” and not Norma Jeane Mortenson), then you’ll know that she wasn’t some “dumb blonde”. This was truly an act in every way. Something every person interviewed cooperates in this Netflix documentary.

OTHER DOCUMENTARIES BASED ON TAPES

Be sure to check out The John Wayne Gacy Tapes which is definitely a true-crime story >

In The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe, we are allowed to listen to taped interviews that were done 20 years after she died. Maybe that’s why people were more willing to talk. They clearly miss her and want the truth about her loving personality to be told. This allows us to hear a lot about the life (and possible suicide) of Marilyn Monroe.

She was definitely not without her demons (her childhood was quite terrible) and prescription drugs were rampant back then as well. Not much has changed in that respect.

You’ll hear interviews with everyone from famous directors and co-stars that worked with Marilyn Monroe to close personal friends. Even the family of her (late) psychiatrist is interviewed. Due to her being so famous, she came to his house rather than his office, so they also got to know her.

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes. Netflix © 2022

Did Marilyn Monroe commit suicide?

Does this new The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe Netflix documentary give any concrete answers? Not really. But it does shine a light on many of the questions surrounding her untimely death. Many of the people being interviewed speak fondly of Marilyn Monroe, but when it comes to the Kennedys, they shy away from talking.

Oh, not in relation to any relationship they may have had with Monroe. There is no doubt that both President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had affairs with Marilyn Monroe. That’s handled in a very “matter of fact”-way by most people being interviewed.

But were either of them involved with her death? That is another issue. Bobby Kennedy certainly seemed to be involved to some degree, which begs the question: Was it really a suicide or simply made to look that way?

When did Marilyn Monroe die?

Several paramedics swear that she was not dead when they arrived. Some even state that she was admitted to the ER while others claim that she died in the ambulance and they drove her back home. Again, some of these claims are first-hand witnesses and others are relating what people have told them.

If one person could cover up something, it would be the Attorney General (RFK). And the only one above him was the President (his brother, JFK). And she was undoubtedly seen as a liability at a crucial time during the Cold War.

But why would they want to cover it up or change facts if it was a suicide? Well, that could be just to have a “clean and simple” story. In other words, to avoid any additional questions from the press (and everyone else).

Watch The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes on Netflix now!

Emma Cooper is the director of this documentary. She has worked with the BBC documentarist Louis Theroux for years. Also, she produced the Netflix docu-series The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann and the Peacock docu-series Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell.

Anthony Summers is the British investigative reporter who conducted all the interviews back at the beginning of the 1980s. He wrote the book “Goddess” which was all about Monroe. The 1996 movie Norma Jean & Marilyn was based on this book. Incidentally, this movie starred Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino in the two title roles. Two women, who had their careers destroyed for many years because they refused Harvey Weinstein’s advances (this is even part of the IMDb trivia for this particular movie).

However much of a hero status both JFK and RFK have (or had), they were also notorious womanizers. And that’s to use a very kind phrase to describe their behavior towards women (today they would be called predators). Other women interviewed at the beginning of the 1980s (and played during this Netflix documentary) also talk about their experiences with the Kennedy brothers.

Was a crime committed when Marilyn Monroe died? Well, to some extent, yes. Whether it was “just” changing the facts surrounding her suicide or actually being responsible for her death?! I’m still not convinced that I know any better now. But I do know a lot more facts surrounding her death – and they all point towards the Kennedys in some way.

The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes is out on Netflix from April 27, 2022.

Plot

Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe’s tragic death spawned conspiracies and rumors for decades, often overshadowing her talent and shrewdness. By piecing together her final weeks, days and hours through previously unheard recordings of those who knew her best, this feature illuminates more of her glamorous, complicated life, and offers a new perspective on that fateful night.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina
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